Lublin, Poland / Galeria Labirynt

The residential district of Lubelska Spółdzielnia Mieszkaniowa (LSM) in Lublin, eastern Poland, was born of a utopian urban living project in the 1960s. The architects of the Osiedle Słowackiego settlement, Zofia and Oskar Hansen, imagined the city as a common wealth, with shared spaces and responsibilities.

Today, these ambitious ideals appear to have failed: shared spaces lie abandoned and uncared for, and the idea of the common needs to be revisited.

Meanwhile, Lublin’s population has undergone rapid changes. Waves of migration have seen young Polish people travel to other parts of Europe. Those that return bring back new habits – and sometimes new questions. At the same time, international students have flocked to the city from across the world.

Galeria Labirynt will work with curators Marta Keil and Grzegorz Reske (ResKeil) to invite artists to stay in Osiedle Słowackiego.

The artists will embed themselves in the community; get to know its spaces, mechanisms and the relations between inhabitants. They will create work that responds to the cultural disturbances and shifts of recent years.

Galeria Labirynt is a contemporary art gallery presenting visual, multimedia and performance art. The gallery’s history is intertwined with that of the Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych (Bureau for Art Exhibitions), having been led for three decades by its director, Andrzej Mroczek. Today, it continues the tradition of the BWA by presenting the classics of contemporary art and works by artists linked with Mroczek’s programme.

Waldemar Tatarczuk, a performance artist and founder of the Performance Art Centre (Ośrodek Sztuki Performance), took over as director in 2010. He introduced performance art to the gallery, which has become an essential part of its exhibition programme.

The concepts of ‘locality’, ‘borders’ and ‘searching’ guide the gallery’s programme. It takes the idea of the labyrinth not as a closed structure that is difficult to escape from but a winding space that increases our attentiveness and sharpens the senses. Labyrinth is a game about ‘finding the way’ that embraces getting lost. It is a metaphor for contemporary art: it represents perseverance in overcoming obstacles and curiosity about what is out of sight.

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Happening in Lublin...

August—September 2019

Residency: Benjamin Verdonck

August—September 2019

Residency: Magdalena & Ludomir Franczak

13—14 December 2018

Symposium: Who do you work for?

August—September 2018

Residency: Barbara Gryka

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